Mate Pavić Reflects on Best Season of Career, New Challenges Ahead

Daniela Rogulj

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In the competition for the best athlete of Dalmatia by Slobodna Dalmacija, Split tennis player Mate Pavić was declared the winner. Behind him was a memorable season, where he was excellent with his partner Oliver Marach to win the Australian Open, ended the year as the best doubles team, and finished at the top of the ATP doubles ranking, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on February 5, 2019. 

Pavić’s fantastic year was then crowned with the success of the Croatia national team, who won the Davis Cup against France. All this was more than enough for Mate to find himself on the list of top athletes in Dalmatia, which is why the trophy for the best athlete, which was presented at the Old City Hall on Split’s Pjaca, ended in the right hands.

“Of course I’m glad and honored to win this award, and be in the company of top athletes from other sports. Dalmatia is known as a region of top athletes, so to be a part of it is really a great honor,” Mate said. 

2018 was an exceptional year for Mate. 

“Definitely, behind me is the best season I’ve had so far. It is difficult to repeat, I hope to succeed, but to be number one in doubles and as the team at the end of the year, we won the Grand Slam, the Davis Cup at the end of the year … It will be hard to repeat it all, but I will try.”

Croatia celebrated when the team won the Davis Cup in Lille and brought home the trophy. What were Mate’s impressions on the great end to the year?

“The impressions were beautiful. I took a few years off competitions, and now I had the opportunity to become part of something big. I played in Zadar in front of a local audience, then away in France… To be a part of the individual sports team, to be with my colleagues is something special and the final in Lille will always stay in my memory.”

The new season did not begin as well for Pavić and Marach, who dropped out of the Australian Open in the second round.

“In Australia, we played a bit worse in two or three matches. Not nearly as good as last year when we returned from the southern hemisphere with three titles, but overall it was not that bad. My Davis Cup season was very long; maybe I needed a bit more time to rest between the two seasons, which I did not have. We are now moving on to new tournaments, we can play well and there is no reason we shouldn’t continue winning titles.”

Last year Pavić won in the mixed doubles competition of the Australian Open with Canadian player Gabriela Dabrowski, though this year the pair were also unlucky in the same tournament. Will they still play together?

“I’ve already played with Dabrowski for a year now, and this is our fifth tournament, so there is no reason we shouldn’t play all the Grand Slams together.”

What awaits Pavić now?

“Nenad Zimonjić asked me to play a tournament in Sofia, and then I’ll return to Marach and go to Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells.”

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